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US Dollar holds steady against yen in Tokyo

TOKYO--The dollar held largely steady against the yen in Asia on Wednesday after enjoying a pick-up in New York thanks to an upbeat batch of U.S. data and a record close for the S&P 500 stock index.

The dollar bought 101.93 yen in Tokyo afternoon trade compared with 101.96 yen in New York Tuesday afternoon.

The euro fetched US$1.3632, against 1.3634, and 138.96 compared with 139.03 yen.

U.S. shares and the greenback ticked higher on Tuesday on Wall Street as dealers returned after the Memorial Day long weekend.

Fresh data showed a rise in consumer confidence for May, a surprising increase in durable goods orders for April and a pick-up in home prices for March on the widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller index.

The news boosted appetite for higher risk assets, sending New York's three main indexes higher. The S&P 500 set a new high after breaking the 1,900 barrier for the first time on Friday.

The greenback was also supported by demand from Japan's importers, analysts said, as attention turns to the Bank of Japan's next meeting, with speculation growing that it could tinker with its monetary policy to boost the economy.

The euro has been on a downward trend for three weeks on expectations the European Central Bank will loosen monetary policy when its board next meets on June 5.

Earlier this month ECB head Mario Draghi indicated the bank was ready to unveil new measures to kickstart the economy and boost inflation, which is sitting well below the bank's 2.0 percent target.

The dollar was mixed against other Asia-Pacific currencies.

The greenback rose to 59.04 Indian rupees from 59.02 rupees on Tuesday, to 43.90 Philippine pesos from 43.73 pesos, to 32.66 Thai baht from 32.59 baht, and to 11,610.80 Indonesian rupiah from 11,578.80 rupiah.

It weakened to 1,021.55 South Korean won from 1,023.60 won.

The U.S. unit was unchanged at SG$1.2549.

The Australian dollar inched up to 92.63 U.S. cents against 92.60 cents, while the Chinese yuan eased to 16.26 yen from 16.34 yen.

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